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Weight Loss Wednesday: Green tea supplement can help post-menopausal women

It's an ancient Asian herb you most likely have in your kitchen, and one you've probably consumed many times, both hot and cold.

NEW ORLEANS — We know Mardi Gras is a time we tend to overindulge, and that leads to a lot of extra calories.

And by the time we reach Ash Wednesday, the scale is not our friend.

So we kick off four segments of Weight Loss Wednesday with a supplement that holds a lot of promise.

It's an ancient Asian herb you most likely have in your kitchen, and one you've probably consumed many times, both hot and cold.

And it's an ingredient in commercial weight loss pills, such as TRIMSPA, that Weight Loss Wednesday has been looking into for more than 20 years.

“It's actually a very good supplement, very high in antioxidants. So, does a lot of things to strengthen the health of arteries, and veins to reduce inflammation, and in fairly good studies you actually can see up to a six pound weight loss just using green tea extract,” said Complimentary Medicine Physician Dr. Henri Rocca, in May of 2004.

But now there is a brand new twist on the ancient, natural and inexpensive supplement.

“This is post-menopausal women who typically have a hard time getting fat weight off their stomach. They have a hard time getting their insulin, and getting their glucose under control, and they're full of inflammation. So, after this green tea trial, they basically went back to like before they were postmenopausal,” said Dr. Melinda Sothern Professor Emerita, LSU Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health.

Dr. Sothern has done extensive research in weight management and exercise. She has said for decades, studies on over-the-counter green tea supplements show they help you burn more fat, but now a new study in the journal Nutrients, specifically shows a new type of green tea supplement helped women after menopause. It helped keep them from storing visceral fat around the waist they get from lack of hormones. That fat causes dangerous, full body inflammation, leading to diabetes, and many other health problems.

“Their fat around their belly was less when compared to those who did not take the green tea, because the better your body can use fat as a fuel, the more it will burn fat and the less it will store it in your trunk,” she explained.

“The new studies have changed the ball game a little bit. The testing, and the labs, and the follow up, was truly impressive, one of the, actually one of the first of its kind. And what they found was these women increased metabolic rate. They lost visceral fat,” said Fitness Expert, Mackie Shilstone

He says while the study only involved 28 women, it was detailed in measuring organ function for any side effects. The study used Greenselect Phytosome by Indena. It has no caffeine, and claims to absorb better.

“They gave it to the women twice a day, 150 milligrams, before lunch and before dinner. To get that equivalent, you'd have to take six cups of green tea a day,” said Shilstone.

He also found another green tea phytosome formula on the market made by Thorne.

Dr. Sothern says this confirms what is seen in studies with men, but she'd like to see studies with more people. And both experts say it is important, especially if you are on other medications, to check with your doctor before taking it.

The women saw these weight changes during the study, that only lasted for two months.

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